Kern Oil Field - Kern County, CA Oil Field

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Kern County California Oil Field Discovery - Occidental Petroleum ( OXY )

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Occidental Petroleum ( OXY ) recently announced the biggest oil discovery in California in over 35 years.  This discovery is located in Kern County, CA and is being referred to as the " Kern Field. "    Occidental estimates that there could be roughly 150-200 million gross barrels of oil and natural gas equivalents.  OXY currently has 1.1 million acres of leaseholds and believe this field could be extended pending further tests.  This oil field is believed to be part of the Monterey Shale play.

Occidental Petroleum owns 80% of the Kern Oil field while Chevron ( CVX ) owns the rest.  Anther thing to note is that this field is a conventional source but they are looking into tapping the unconventional shale portions at a later time.

Occidental Petroleum Announces Significant California Oil and Gas Discovery

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) announced today that it has made a significant discovery of oil and gas reserves in Kern County, California.

Occidental believes there are between 150 million and 250 million gross barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) reserves within the outlined area where Oxy has drilled six wells to date to delineate the discovery. The multi-pay zone discovery area, whose areal geological extent is still being defined, has both conventional and unconventional pay zones. The bulk of the discovery's producing zones are conventional oil and gas bearing formations.

Occidental's interest in the discovery area is approximately 80 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the discovery is believed to be natural gas.

"We believe this to be the largest new oil and gas discovery made in California in more than 35 years," said Dr. Ray R. Irani, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

"It is probable that there are additional reserves outside the defined area, and it is possible that structures of this type exist elsewhere in Oxy's 1.1 million net acre position in California. We plan to drill wells to exploit these opportunities over the next 5 to 10 years," Dr. Irani said.

Oxy is currently the largest natural gas producer and third-largest oil producer in the state of California, where the company has produced oil and gas for more than 50 years. Oxy's assets in the state include more than 7,500 active wells located in 90 fields, spanning 600 miles. Oxy's California proved reserves were 708 million BOE at year-end 2008 and represent approximately 24 percent of Oxy's worldwide reserves

November 2011 Update -  In terms of review of our major domestic assets. In California, for the year, we expect to drill and complete 154 shale wells outside of Elk Hills compared to the 107 wells we had indicated at the beginning of the year. Including Elk Hills, we expect to drill 195 shale wells for the year. We expect to drill and complete a total of 42 shale wells during the fourth quarter.

Our experience has been the 30-day initial production rate for these wells, depending on areas between 300 and 400 barrels of oil equivalent per day. With respect to shale wells outside of Elk Hills, about 80% of the BOE production is a combination of black oil and high-value condensate. The cost of drilling and completing these wells has been running about $3.5 million per well, and we expect this to continue to decline over time. Our conventional drilling program is progressing somewhat better than planned.

There has been no significant change in the -- of permitting issues in the state from our last call. We expect the current permitting levels to allow us to have our program go forward at these levels and enable us to continue to grow our production volumes in the state. We expect the production rig count to remain at the same 29 rig count, although we're likely to add a 30th rig by the end of the year based on a current outlook


Other Companies Drilling in the Kern Oil Field:

Plains Exploration - PXP is evaluating its exposure to the recently announced positive industry discovery in Kern County, California. The discovery area is under evaluation and apparently consists of conventional oil and gas bearing formations. PXP holds approximately 9,800 net acres in the Kern County area.

Plains Exploration PXP Drilling Update - In the California asset area, PXP has 3 drilling rigs operating onshore where PXP continues its active development program in the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Basins. Daily sales volumes onshore and offshore averaged 40,500 BOE per day net to PXP, or 7% higher than first-quarter 2011 and slightly higher than the second-quarter 2010. Average daily sales volumes are expected to be above 41,000 BOE net per day by year-end 2011.

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